Gestational Diabetes: What Is It and How Does It Affect Pregnancy?

Gestational Diabetes: Symptoms, Treatment, Effect On Pregnancy

What is gestational diabetes?

Gestational diabetes is first detected during pregnancy. Like type 1 and type 2 diabetes, gestational diabetes causes blood sugar levels to become too expensive.

When you eat, your digestion system breaks down most of the food into a sugar called glucose. Glucose enters your blood stream so your cells can use it as fuel. With the assistance of insulin (a hormone made by your pancreas), muscle, fat, and other cells absorb glucose from your blood.

But if your body doesn’t produce adequate insulin, or if the cells have a problem responding to it, too much glucose remains in your blood instead of moving into cells and getting converted to energy.

When you’re pregnant, your body naturally becomes more resistant to insulin so that more glucose is readily available to nourish your baby. For the majority of moms-to-be, this isn’t an issue: When your body needs additional insulin to process excess glucose in blood, the pancreas secretes more.

However if the pancreas cannot stay up to date with the increased need for insulin during pregnancy, blood sugar levels rise too high due to the fact that the cells aren’t utilizing the glucose. This results in gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes needs to be acknowledged and dealt with rapidly because it can cause health issue for mom and baby.

Unlike other types of diabetes, gestational diabetes isn’t really irreversible. Once a baby is born, blood sugar level will more than likely return to normal rapidly. However, having gestational diabetes does make developing diabetes in the future most likely.

Am I at risk of establishing gestational diabetes?

Anyone can establish gestational diabetes, and not all women who establish the condition have understood risk factors. About 5 to 10 percent of all pregnant women get gestational diabetes. You’re most likely to develop gestational diabetes if you:

  • are age 25 or older
  • have a close family member who has diabetes
  • are overweight, particularly if your body mass index (BMI) is 30 or higher
  • have polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
  • have a medical condition that makes diabetes most likely, such as glucose intolerance
  • take particular medications like glucocorticoids (for asthma or an autoimmune disease), beta-blockers (for high blood pressure or a quick heart rate), or antipsychotic drugs (for mental illness)
  • have actually had gestational diabetes prior to
  • have had a huge baby before (macrosomia)
  • are African American, Native American, Asian American, Hispanic, or Pacific Islander

Sadly, there’s no chance to guarantee that you won’t get gestational diabetes. However there are methods to reduce your risk. Adopting a healthy lifestyle – consuming a balanced diet and getting routine workout – can make it less likely that you’ll establish the condition.

What are the symptoms of gestational diabetes?

Most women who are identified with gestational diabetes don’t have any symptoms. That’s why your doctor will provide you a screening test for gestational diabetes when you’re in between 24 and 28 weeks pregnant.

If you have any risk factors for gestational diabetes, your company may suggest doing the test earlier. Most women who have gestational diabetes discover that they have it after taking this test.

The most common test for gestational diabetes is the oral glucose screening test. This test determines how efficiently your body produces insulin. On the day of the test, your company will provide you a sweet liquid to drink. An hour later on, you’ll have a blood test to inspect your glucose levels.

If your test reveals that your blood sugar level is too high, you’ll need to take a longer test called the oral glucose tolerance test. For this test, you’ll have to quick before being given a sweet liquid to drink. Your blood will be tested at fasting, however after one, two, and three hours. If the result of two tests shows your blood sugar level is too high, you’ll be identified with gestational diabetes.

Both of these tests are safe for you and your baby and don’t have any significant side effects. But consuming the liquid may taste unpleasant and make you feel nauseated later.

What’s the treatment for gestational diabetes?

Lots of women can handle their gestational diabetes by following a workout plan and eating a balanced, healthy diet based upon entire grains, lean proteins, veggies, and other foods that launch sugar gradually. However, about 15 percent of women with gestational diabetes need to take medication to balance their blood sugar level (anti-hyperglycemic medication).

Insulin injections are the most common medical treatment for gestational diabetes. If you need insulin, you’ll have up to 3 injections daily, and your supplier will teach you to inject yourself.

Monitoring your very own blood sugar level is an important part of your treatment strategy. Your service provider will show you how to test yourself with an unique device. This includes puncturing your finger with a little needle first thing in the morning then once again an hour or more after you’ve eaten a meal. Lots of women discover this unpleasant procedure to be the worst part of the treatment for gestational diabetes.

How does gestational diabetes impact pregnancy?

Many women with gestational diabetes who can keep their glucose levels in check go on to have a successful pregnancy and a healthy baby. But having gestational diabetes makes you and your baby more likely to establish particular complications.

If you have gestational diabetes, you’re most likely to enter into labor early (preterm labor). Babies who are born early are more likely to have health issue and may likewise need extra care after birth. You may likewise have a higher risk of high blood pressure or preeclampsia. These conditions make preterm labor more likely and can cause health problems for you and your baby.

Children of women with gestational diabetes are most likely to be bigger than average (macrosomia). Big babies can get stuck in the birth canal while being born (shoulder dystocia), which can hurt nerves in the neck and shoulder (brachial plexus injury). Big children are more likely to be delivered by c-section.

Your baby may also have low blood glucose (hypoglycemia) after birth and difficulty breathing (respiratory distress).

How can I have a healthy pregnancy with gestational diabetes?

The most important thing you can do to ensure a healthy pregnancy is follow the treatment strategy suggested by your service provider. This includes adhering to your meal strategy, monitoring your blood glucose, working out regularly, and going to all your prenatal visits.

Although a diagnosis of gestational diabetes may make you feel upset and distressed, with the right treatment and cautious management, it’s possible to have an uncomplicated pregnancy and healthy baby.

It’s natural to find a diagnosis of gestational diabetes difficult to handle in the beginning. You might feel denied when you can’t treat yourself to foods you like. You might also find it difficult to inspire yourself to exercise, specifically if you’re feeling tired and slow.

You’re not alone in battling with these modifications. However by changing your lifestyle and the foods you eat, you’re giving your baby the best possibility to have a healthy start in life.

Even if you do find it difficult to stay with your treatment strategy, it’s essential to attempt your best. Your provider can use advice and extra support if you’re having a hard time.

Also read: What Can I Eat if I Have Gestational Diabetes? Food List

When should I call the doctor if I have gestational diabetes?

If you have gestational diabetes, you’ll most likely see your doctor frequently. But if you do not feel well in between gos to or observe any unusual symptoms, call your service provider immediately.

These symptoms might show that your blood sugar level is too high:

  • feeling really thirsty
  • peeing more often than typical
  • feeling very exhausted
  • feeling upset
  • having actually blurred vision

Your supplier might have you come in for an exam and extra tests to make sure that you and your baby are succeeding. If you’re having trouble keeping your blood sugar at a healthy level, your provider can refer you to a professional.